Iran has put behind one of its worst years in terms of executions, with at least 864 prisoners put to death, Indeed, the death penalty is considered one of the most severe forms of punishment, and it has been abolished or significantly restricted in over 170 countries worldwide. Only around 30 countries still actively use the death penalty. Unfortunately, the Iranian regime consistently remains at the forefront of these countries that continue to implement capital punishment. Julia Duchrow, the Deputy Secretary General, Amnesty International (Germany), has stated regarding executions in Iran, “The leader of Iran is responsible for 65% of the executions carried out worldwide last year.”
The trend of executions continued to escalate throughout 2023, with more than 36% of the executions (313 cases) taking place in the last three months of the year, coinciding with the war in Gaza, which the regime has been using as a smokescreen to ratchet up human rights abuses at home.
The executions have been especially harsh toward ethnic minorities. Among the victims, 191 individuals, or more than 22%, are from the most oppressed and marginalized Baluch citizens.
Notably, among the executed were eight juvenile offenders who were under 18 at the time of committing the crime. Seven executions were shockingly carried out in public.
Also on January 1, 2024, five prisoners were executed in Karaj Central Prison.
On January 4, two prisoners were hanged in Ardabil, and one in Hamedan, while three others were hanged in Ardabil Central Prison in the previous ways. On Tuesday, January 2, the government news agency IRNA reported the execution of nine prisoners in Ardabil.
Six protesters were executed in 2023 and two in December 2022. The eight protesters were sentenced to death and hanged after unfair trials, solely for their participation in the protests.
The Iranian judiciary had issued death sentences for over 100 people who took part in the 2022-2023 protests. Some of the protesters are still in a state of uncertainty, while others remain under the shadow of the death sentences.
In 2023, the death sentences of 693 prisoners were carried out secretly without any media coverage. Most of the data on executions is obtained through independent media and through communication with inside the prison.
Since January 2023, the death sentences of 26 female prisoners have been executed in Iranian regime prisons, showing a 37% growth compared to the previous year.
In the previous year, Iran became the largest executioner of women in the world by executing at least 16 women in 2022. According to Amnesty International’s report in 2022, a total of 24 women were executed worldwide, 16 of which belonged to Iran. In 2023, the regime broke its own record.